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2015 Kia Soul Overview
Still steaming it’s so hot off the drawing table for 2014, the 2015 Soul gains an all-electric EV and upmarket technology included in the Base, but the 6-speed manual is now available only for the Base and its 1.6-liter engine. That said, it’s a solidly fun little automatic with 53 cubes under the hatch. Drivers have absolutely nothing but high praise for the entire Soul lineup since the 2014 redesign, especially the Base and all its amenities, and it just got better for 2015.
This latest Soul incarnation reduced wind noise and improved ride quality over the first, not to mention bringing interior materials to speak of a purchase price thousands higher. For 2015, the Base Soul gets Kia’s UVO infotainment system, which offers things like the rear-view camera display, Speed Alert, Curfew Alert and a driving score. Accessing the Kia App Store can also add things like Pandora, Yelp and iHeart Radio to the UVO system, meaning you can get streaming music even if you don’t have a smartphone—but if you do have one with the UVO eServices app installed, you can control all of it from your phone at no additional charge.
The mid-level Soul+ (Plus) remains unchanged over last year, but the Soul! (Exclaim) gains the option of Nappa leather upholstery and glossy black wheel inserts. Otherwise the only major change is dropping the option of a 6-speed manual for the 1.6-liter engine in Plus and Exclaim trims.
But there’s also a new Soul on the block: an all-electric EV good for 109 hp and 210 lb-ft/torque out of its 27-kilowatt lithium ion battery and motor, which puts it on performance par with the 1.6-liter inline 4-cylinder rated at 130 hp and 118 lb-ft/torque. Both reach 60 mph in roughly 11 seconds, but the gas version chugs along on the formerly lineup-best 25 city mpg/30 highway, whereas the EV will go about 92 miles before needing 5 hours at a 240-volt outlet. Kia says you can also charge it on the household-standard 120-volt plug overnight or a DC fast-charge station.
The EV is offered in Base and Plus flavors, the only equipment difference being LED lamps, otherwise having just a few unique cosmetic differences like an exclusive grille and white trim inside. Leather upholstery is a standalone option for either EV, and so, too, is a specialized heat pump for maximizing the range while using climate control systems—it can also be scheduled to heat or cool the cabin while charging.
The Plus and Exclaim 2-liter gas engine is rated at 164 hp and 151 lb-ft of torque on a 23/31 diet, but drivers report they never get better than 28 mpg on the highway. Typically it’s more like 24 mpg at best. However, if fuel economy sits lower on your list than a cooled glovebox, panoramic sunroof, Infinity Audio system, keyless ignition, heated seats and leather upholstery, then you’ll likely need to ante up to a top-shelf fully-loaded Exclaim—not that it would break the bank to do so.
Your prototypical "Tom Girl" Patricia got her start digging into Ford engines before she aged into double digits. Gifted with a mechanical mind, her favorite pass-time in the summer is picking up a fixer-up'r at the local public auction and massaging its every ailment until it's primed for a new lover. From dirt bikes to land yachts, every partner offers something truly special in her love affair with the road - just don't tell her husband.